10 Ways to Save Money on Christmas Gifts

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Christmas is just around the corner! If you’re on a tight budget or just don’t want to overspend this year there are plenty of great ways to save money on Christmas gifts out there. Most are a lot easier than you think, too!

Personally, I love Christmas, and that includes Christmas shopping. But I don’t love that holiday hangover feeling when you’re cleaning up all the already neglected gifts and feeling guilty about how much money you spend.

How I Save Money on Christmas Gifts Each Year

As a parent of 5 I’m always looking for ways to save money. Here’s some of my best tips that I use to save money on Christmas gifts so I can spoil my kids around the holidays.

1. Be More Intentional

I think this is probably the most important tip for saving money on Christmas presents. You have to approach holiday shopping from a place of intention; that means being more selective about what you buy in the first place. We no longer purchase “filler gifts” so the kids have a lot to open, for example. These really add up!

Something we like doing in our house is the 4 gift rule. You don’t have to limit to only four gifts, but it’s a good way to set priorities and limit your holiday shopping.

2. Shop Early, But Not Too Early

I’m sure you’ve seen this tip a lot for saving money on Christmas. If you shop sales and clearance throughout the year you can definitely save money on Christmas gifts for the kids and adults in your life. It’s good advice in theory but can also come back to cost you even more.

If you shop too early, you run the risk of what you’re buying not being useful by the time Christmas rolls around. This is especially true with kids who have constantly changing interests. Adults, on the other hand, may buy the item for themselves or you may find something you’d prefer to give them later on.

Limit your early shopping to items you know will still be loved come Christmas or that can be returned if you change your mind.

3. Use Rewards and Cash Back

I’m part of a few rewards programs that are very generous with the point collection. By staking those with online cashback awards like Rakuten, as well as my credit card rewards, I regularly get a several dollar discount on Christmas purchases between cashback and reward points.

Some places also offer discounted prices for members; don’t forget to take advantage!

4. Buy Used When Possible

I’m a huge fan of second hand gifts and my kids appreciate them too. We bought a lot of second hand toys for the holidays when my kids were little and it saved so much money. After all, the $2 thrifted toy is just as fun as a new one. Plus no assembly required!

This also goes for family and friends. I regularly gift my mom thrifted vintage items and antiques that are both less expensive and nicer than anything I’d find in the store for her.

5. Declutter and Sell for Extra Cash

This is a great idea if you’re on a budget or have some unexpected expenses around the holidays. Gather up household goods and kids’ toys, then sell them on local buy and sell groups or online. It may not be a lot of money, but it can really help if you’re struggling to afford the holidays.

Plus your house will have less clutter too!

6. Get Crafty

DIY gifts are always appreciated, especially for folks who have everything. Play to your strengths during the holidays while you craft homemade gifts. Baking, crafts, sewing, woodworking, candlemaking… The sky’s the limit for what you can turn into a Christmas present.

When it comes to kids, I also suggest DIYing when you can. There are all kinds of large projects that can be turned into Christmas presents that kids will love way more than anything from the store.

7. Host a Secret Santa

This is one of my favourite life hacks for saving money on Christmas gifts: a gift exchange. Most of the time it’s actually more fun than traditional holiday gift giving, and it saves you a tonne of money not having to buy for everyone. Set a budget and rules and have the whole family get involved.

This isn’t limited to extended family or large gatherings, either. I have my kids do secret Santa with each other too!

8. Comparison Shop

Sometimes it’s worth a few extra minutes to shop around. I have my go to stores, but I always check around to see if I can get a better deal somewhere else. Now that we have online shopping it’s so much easier to do this; there’s no need to go from store to store.

Don’t forget to take loyalty discounts and rewards into account when comparison shopping.

9. Ask Family Members to Chip In

If your kid (or spouse) is asking for a big gift that would stretch your budget, consider asking those who regularly buy holiday gifts for them to go in on the gift. This is especially handy if grandparents or in-laws aren’t really sure what to give as gifts or live out of town.

Just make sure the recipient knows who the gift is from!

10. Shop Sales

The biggest sale around the holidays is Black Friday. Depending on what you’re looking for, that may be the best day to go holiday shopping, but not always. Some stores will do sales earlier in the season and advertise “lowest price of the season”.

To take full advantage of holiday sales, it’s important to know your prices – this includes rock bottom for what you’re looking for. If it’s something that never goes on sale, snap it up when you see a deal. If you have seen it discounted more in the past, it may be worth waiting.

Bonus: Save Money For Next Year

With interest rates on the rise the earlier you put the money aside for Christmas the better. Set your budget early in the year and put the money aside in a high interest savings account. By the time the holidays roll around you’ll have a few extra dollars in your budget without having to do anything special at all.

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